Stories by Tom
BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR: Agribusiness billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick have planted themselves at heart of philanthropic, cultural scenes.
Agribusiness billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick have branched out into supporting L.A.’s philanthropic and arts scenes.
INTERNET: WhisperText signs up viral-story wizard to help expand the anonymous-confession app’s reach.
INTERNET: WhisperText hopes viral-story expert will help the anonymous-confession app speak to a broader audience.
Rubicon Project has officially kicked-off its long-expected march toward going public.
Internet: Online giant pays $90 million for startup Gravity’s technology.
Internet: Gravity, provider of online news personalization services, makes headlines as a $90 million acquisition by AOL.
Ouya’s gaming system is nearing its first birthday, and the console maker is celebrating by releasing a new product line with some upgrades.
The knock on the current boom in tech is that most companies are started by (male) 20- or 30-somethings attempting to solve problems for 20- or 30-somethings. Ergo the handfuls of food delivery startups or laundry pickup services.
Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis has finally lifted the veil on his newest product, Inside, which he says is the best thing he’s ever done.
If TigerText did nothing else as a company, it could forever be known as the company that birthed teen-friendly privacy app Whisper.
Online: MuckerLab sticks by tradition as latest startup class meets with investors.
Accelerator MuckerLab sticks with demo days, saying the events still click with the tech community.
Internet: Jason Calacanis looks to deliver in journalism.
Online entrepreneur Jason Calacanis’ latest move takes him into the bustling field of mobile news delivery.
Gravity, a Santa Monica startup that sells a content discovery service for news sites, has been acquired by AOL Inc. for $90 million.
MuckerLab stands alone among the top tier accelerators in Los Angeles. While Launchpad and Amplify have done away with their demo days, the Santa Monica outfit co-founded by Erik Rannala is holding fast to the tradition.
If you’re among the ranks of Machinima’s YouTube channels and you say something nice about the Xbox One in a video, Microsoft is going to make it worth your while.
Entertainment: Startup service enters noisy marketplace.
You’ve seen the Beats headphones. Now the company that makes them wants into the music streaming business. Can it succeed in this already noisy segment?
As founding partners of their own law firm in Century City, Keith Elkins and Scott Kalt don’t just divvy up attorney pay or recruit new partners. Some days, you’ll find them planning relay races.
Startup Accelerator Amplify has announced a new $8 million funding round.
Venice video app maker Supernova, which began its life as Viddy, was acquired today by YouTube network Fullscreen.
Beats Electronics has unveiled the start date for its Beats Music service, announcing yet another entry into the popular if financially troubled category of online radio.
TECH: Whisper draws traffic-generating writer away from Gawker.
App maker Whisper Inc. rang in the new year by making a high-profile hire and signaling a new initiative for the company.
Snapchat has released an update to its popular photo-sharing app, aimed at patching a security flaw that left users’ names and phone numbers exposed.
YouTube network Fullscreen has settled its lawsuit with a music publisher’s association over the use of unlicensed music in its channels’ videos.
When the Federal Trade Commission announced late last year that it was going to crack down on deceptive weight loss campaigns, the assumption was that Herbalife Inc. would be the most likely local company to be singled out.
Loveroom, the site that pitched itself as an “Airbnb for attractive people,” is buzzy, somewhat controversial and probably overexposed. Those descriptors, of course, are catnip for reality television, and so it feels preordained that Loveroom would be courted by production companies.
The life of any startup comes with a definite end-point, but most don’t expect them to arrive soon after launch. Such is the case with Pasadena’s Crashworks Inc., maker of a free city-guide app for iPhones.
Internet: Virtual Piggy deal anticipates possibility of additional stock sales.
Finance - Online shopping service Virtual Piggy takes out short-term loan but won’t squeal on the possibility of a future
iInternet: Tech companies fail to bring home the bacon.
Internet – Attempts to reinvent the food business have chewed up several tech companies
The free app is in beta and has a few rudimentary workout regimens built-in.
Virtual Piggy’s hackathon restricts competitors to teenagers or younger.
Technology: Virtual Piggy goes whole hog on app creation contest only for youths.
INTERNET: Telecom giant snaps up EdgeCast to move deeper into mobile.
Verizon dials up deal to acquire content delivery network operator EdgeCast
VIDEO GAMES: Riot axes streaming restrictions after bad feedback on Internet.
Video game makers have been pushing hard for professional gaming to be considered a legitimate sport – few companies harder than Santa Monica’s Riot Games Inc.
EdgeCast will function as Verizon’s main provider of content delivery services and is part of the Basking Ridge, N.J. wireless company’s effort to expand its array of digital services.
Technology: BLife joins field looking to get human mind in shape
Technology: Software developers head in a new direction with products to develop people’s brains.
Left Shoe’s 3-D scanner helps store’s customers step into customized fit
Footwear: Left Shoe steps up its service with a 3-D scanner process that creates a custom fit
Under the new contract, Riot’s professional players will not be allowed to stream their gameplay of other Massive Multiplayer Online Games such as “Defense of the Ancients 2” and “World of Warcraft.”
Oink offers kids a secure, credit card-free way to make online purchases at partnered e-commerce sites such as Toys R Us and Gamestop.
The Santa Monica startup has released what it describes as a "personal fitness program for the mind." It was built as a Web app for computers, with an iPhone app set to be released next year.
Internet: Networks offer stars viewership-measuring platforms
YouTube networks are building tech platforms to keep stars happy as part of a new big picture.
ActiveReplay’s Trace tracks moves by outdoor athletes.
ActiveReplay’s Trace tracking device looks to take the spin out of bragged-about moves by surfers and skateboarders.
INTERNET: LoveRoom’s creator dismisses critics of lodging-dating service.
A few weeks ago, a new lodging-and-dating service announced itself to the online world.
LoveRoom went live Nov. 15. It's now in beta and is accepting signups.
Big-name investor battle over weight-loss product purveyor Herbalife could be nearing a close.
The Culver City online video network announced Erin McPherson will be joining the company in a position that sees her reporting directly to company Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz.
ADVERTISING: Tongal takes on traditional agency model.
Some industry veterans question the mass appeal of Tongal’s crowdsourced approach to video ads.
INTERNET: Viddy’s now Supernova as it works to regain firm’s early heat.
Internet: Maker of video app Viddy looks to change its focus and image with new name and products.
Mar Vista's Just Scan It, an app maker specializing in mobile scanning, has rolled out a self-named iOS app that aims to loop valet services and drivers into a single network.
Supernova, as the Venice company will be called henceforth, is no longer a maker of one product, but a producer of a handful of multimedia apps, all with a focus on social sharing.
The video streaming site is lowering the broadcaster's take from 70 percent of advertising revenue to 45 percent, considered standard for most YouTube channels.
INTERNET: Software by Maker Studios tracks viewership in real time.
Maker Studios pitches its service as a platform for video stars to make more money off their creations.
AVIATION: New products also provide lift for shares of AeroVironment.
Defense contractors’ strong earnings help small-aircraft maker AeroVironment’s shares take wing.
PUBLISHING: Goldhirsh stays positive after firing editorial staff.
Ben Goldhirsh says he has his do-gooder-focused magazine doing well financially.